I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. In mid-January my husband and I decided to take his company transfer to The Woodlands, Texas, and from the day we made the decision we’ve been bombarded with extra things to do. There are forms to complete, contracts to sign, mountains of stuff to give away and throw away, home renovations, figuring out how and when to sell the house, finding a home in Texas, figuring out how and when to move our cars and our belongings, worrying about missing our friends and family here and worrying about meeting new friends there, figuring out how to handle leaving my business here and starting a new one there. There seems to be no break from busy-ness.
Luckily, I practice yoga, so as soon as we made the decision I decided to embrace it and go with the flow. Things are falling into place, and I truly believe that we all have a life path to follow so we can continue both learning and being of service while we’re here.
Fighting against the flow is a waste of energy and makes it feel like the world is against you. But when you let the stream carry you, it seems as if the whole universe opens up to you. People show up to help, wonderful things are discovered, and life feels good. Things feel right. Even though you might not be able to see how it’s all going to play out, you can get a sense that you’re moving in the right direction, so trusting the universe and embracing the mystery will serve you well. If you feel like you’ve been struggling with everything, finding a way to step into the flow of energy around you is vital for your health and happiness. Stepping into flow automatically eases the mind because you have accepted life as it is. This acceptance eliminates a lot of anxiety and mind-churning.
Speaking of mind-churning, that’s pretty much what our minds do all day long. The mind is like a computer, constantly scanning and assessing, matching up data with past experience, re-hashing the past, fantasizing about the future, etc., etc. That’s not really a problem. That’s the mind’s job. It just keeps going. The problem is when we attach ourselves to the mind to the point that we don’t even realize that we are separate from the mind. Most of us have no idea that the mind is not us unless we have been exposed to some type of contemplative practice where we can actually see and experience the difference between ourselves and our minds. I’d say there are many people living in their heads right now, and I wish I could reach them all, because the ability to get out of your head will change your life immensely for the better.
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and started mentally running through a list of things I needed to do in the morning. My mind could keep that up for hours, but I needed my sleep so I could be a better person and have enough energy to get through the day. So I released the hold on my mind just like I would release my hold on a balloon, and it floated away from me so I could get my much-needed sleep. It’s really that simple. Just let go. Usually we chase after our thoughts. We follow them down any dark alley. If the mind is just running around in circles, we are right behind, running round and round in an exhausting trip to nowhere. I’ve said it before, but I never get tired of it: What the mind is doing is none of your business!
Yes, we need our minds to do our work and figure things out, but a lot of the mind’s stuff is just background processing and is useless to us. It keeps us from sleeping. It keeps us from enjoying our lives. It keeps us out of flow. It gets in our way. For me, the best gift of yoga has been learning — from direct experience — that I am separate from my mind. I have been able to watch my mind in action and notice how it operates under different circumstances, and little by little I’ve learned how to let it go do it’s own thing so I can live in peace and be more open to intuitive wisdom — and that’s how I learn to recognize which way the stream is running so I can go with the flow rather than fight against it.